Virgin Media Television has announced a number of new drama commissions as part of its virtual Autumn Season launch as well as the return of audience favourites Gogglebox Ireland and Living With Lucy and new documentary series such as Until Death and How To Buy A Home.
VMTV has confirmed a new co-production is on the way in collaboration with the Sundance Channel in the US entitled, The Vanishing Triangle, as well as new comedy drama Faithless, written by and starring Baz Ashmawy.
“2022 has been a stand-out year for Virgin Media Television, delivering record streaming figures, record growth in younger viewers for Virgin Media Two and the launch of our second new television channel this year, Virgin Media Four,” said Director of Content Virgin Media Television, Bill Malone. “Our new season schedule promises to continue this success with more Irish drama, more gripping documentaries, more Love Island, the Super Bowl live and a whole host of new series.”
The broadcaster has announced that the decision to refocus Virgin Media Two as a channel for younger audiences has led to strong growth with share of viewing for 15-34 year olds up +57% and for 25-44 year olds up +54% so far this year.
“VMTV is also enjoying a record year of streaming, with over 31 million streams on Virgin Media Player and On Demand this year, while the most streamed show in the country is still Love Island with 15 million streams for this year’s series alone,” Malone added.
One of the highlights of the Autumn schedule is Graham Norton’s highly anticipated Irish drama series Holding, based on the celebrated talkshow host’s best-selling novel. Filmed in Cork with a stellar Irish cast, Holding will launch on Virgin Media One on Monday, 12th September. This co-production between Virgin Media Television and ITV, in association with Screen Ireland, stars Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones).
The Vanishing Triangle is a brand-new chilling drama series, co-produced by Virgin Media Television and The Sundance Channel in the US. The six-part series is inspired by true events that shocked Ireland in the 1990’s as several women in the east of the country vanished, without trace. They disappeared inexplicably and suddenly, and no substantial clues or evidence of their fate has ever been found despite large scale searches and campaigns by the Gardaí to find them.
Brand-new comedy drama series Faithless is co-written by and stars Baz Ashmawy. This comedic drama series follows Irish-Egyptian dad, Sam, who is presented with the life altering responsibility of raising his three young daughters alone. That is until his irresponsible but irresistible younger brother moves in to “help,” but never leaves.
There are also several original Irish documentaries and true-crime series scheduled this season including Until Death, a landmark docu-series that investigates the heart-breaking issue of domestic abuse and femicide in Ireland. With the recent lockdown-fuelled rise in reported cases, we explore if things are getting worse and what we can we do to stop men hurting, and killing, women.
A Dublin Murder chronicles the brutal killing of Rachel O’Reilly by her husband in 2004. This shocking two-part series investigates the murder of 30-year-old, Rachel O’Reilly. The Dublin mother of two was murdered at the hands of her husband, Joe O’Reilly in her home in Naul, Co. Dublin on 4th October 2004.
Staying with true-crime, two-part documentary series Six Bullets Fired will investigate the death of George Nkencho, who was shot six times by armed Gardaí after a stand-off outside his family home in West Dublin on December 30th, 2020.
The Fall of Bomber Kavanagh tells the story of Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, jailed for 21 years in the UK in a remarkable fall from grace for one of the Kinahan gang’s top bosses. This documentary traces the rise of the notoriously violent criminal to become the second in command of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.
A new documentary on Graham Dwyer will explore how the Dublin architect was jailed for life for the murder of Elaine O’Hara in one of the most notorious cases in Irish criminal history. The highly acclaimed series The Guards also returns for a second series.
Alongside this host of documentary and factual series, VMTV boasts a brand new six-part property show, fronted by Liz O’Kane and Michael Fry, How To Buy A Home. This series unpacks the unfiltered realities Irish people face in the search for a home. Following real life experiences, this series takes a raw and honest look at the emotional rollercoaster, challenges, and hard-won joys of buying a home in Ireland.
The Restaurant returns and sees some of your favourite Irish celebrities swap their day jobs for oven gloves including Cork’s finest Demi Isaac Oviawe (Holding and The Young Offenders) who will join Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen in the kitchen as the diners eat and critique their meal all while guessing who it could be behind the kitchen doors.
Drawing on her incredible life experiences of overcoming adversity from drug addiction to prostitution, we look into the incredible life of trans woman, Rebecca de Havilland as she gives people a helping hand to turn their bad situation around and have a second chance at life in the brand-new factual series Second Chance Bootcamp with Rebecca de Havilland. Whether their lives have been derailed by addiction, prison, direct provision, or abusive relationships, they all have one goal in common – they want to unlock their true potential and transform their lives forever.
Marco Pierre White is not the only chef you’ll see this season as Dylan McGrath takes the reins with his brand-new series ‘Dylan McGrath’s Secret Service’. In this four-part series, Dylan is on a mission to prove that with the right opportunities and backing, everyone has potential to achieve their dreams. Five people who haven’t had life handed to them on a plate, take up the ultimate culinary bootcamp to work with Dylan and see if they can pull off a secret service to raise money for charity.
Lucy Kennedy is back with a brand-new series Lucy Investigates, launching in October, where she will jump out of her comfort zone and land in the inner circle of some of the country’s most fascinating subcultures, as Lucy immerses herself into lifestyles of four fascinating factions of Irish society, exploring everything from Sex in the Suburbs to Life Online.
Lucy will be also back for another series of Living with Lucy as she heads off to share space, life and conversation with a host of celebrities in their own homes. Another favourite returning to our screens is Gogglebox Ireland, as the nation’s top couch TV critics are back with some new and returning households every Wednesday night on Virgin Media One.
A brand-new season of Eating With The Enemy returns with some familiar faces such as George Hook and TikTok star, Miriam Mullins. This six-part, ground-breaking social experiment series, that takes the debate of Twitter and presents it face-to-face, explores what happens when two strangers with diametrically opposed views sit down together for a conversation over dinner. Will they find common ground, or will there be fireworks? This unique Irish format is now travelling internationally, and a Lithuanian adaption is set to premiere on September 8th on Lithuanian PBS, LRT.
Garth Brooks will grace our screens in early September in the documentary Garth Brooks: Coming Home. The film explores the country star’s special relationship with Ireland as he ends his stadium world tour with 5 nights in Croke Park. An unprecedented number of performances, highlighting the performer’s popularity in Ireland.
VMTV will also air the ground-breaking series Inside the Hospice, which will deal with death and grief in Ireland through unprecedented access to terminally ill patients on their journey from diagnosis to their final days under Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services.
Another unique series that takes an unprecedented look at the true health of our nation is The Clinic for Well People. This four-part factual series examines not the sick but well, as everyone arriving to the clinic assumes they are well, with no underlying conditions or reason to believe otherwise and are about to undergo a full medical inspection to uncover the true state of their health. This series is just one of a number of programmes made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound & Vision fund.
Virgin Media News’ trio Richard Chambers, Gavan Reilly and Zara King discuss the stories making the headlines with their new series of The Group Chat airing weekly on Thursday nights on Virgin Media Two, starting from tomorrow night.
The best of leading international drama continues this Autumn with the brand-new four-part series Ridley – starring our very own Blood and Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar. The series follows retired Detective Alex Ridley who is lured back into service as a consultant detective when his former protégée, Carol Farman, needs help cracking a complex murder case.
Hit drama thriller Trigger Point launches on 1st September on Virgin Media One starring Line of Duty‘s Vicky McClure alongside Adrian Lester. For London’s bomb disposal experts, no day is ever the same as they risk their lives protecting the city from harm.
True life drama series The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe launches in October starring Eddie Marsan. It tells the tale of fraudsters Anne and John Darwin, who shocked the world after faking his death to secure insurance money to pay off debts. The Suspect is another thriller set to have you at the edge of your seat starring Irish actor Aidan Turner as psychologist turned murder suspect Dr. Joseph O’Loughlin.
Other gripping thriller dramas include Witness No. 3 staring Irish actors, Clare Dunne and David Crowley (Red Rock). This four-part series follows single mum Jodie, whose life is turned upside down when she inadvertently becomes a major player in a murder trial.
Irish actor Niamh Algar will take the leading role is Malpractice, a five-part medical thriller series that sees her play Dr. Lucinda Edwards, a doctor who is faced with an enquiry into the death of one of her patients.
Virgin Media has also committed to continuing its support of new and emerging local talent with Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition, in association with Screen Ireland, to broadcast Good Chips, which takes the audience back to Dublin in 1989, as a family of Vietnamese immigrants struggle to keep their takeaway business afloat; Unhinged, which follows a self-deprecating millennial who discovers the love of her life and colleague on Tinder and must find the confidence to swipe right before his leaving party, all while navigating a fatphobic workplace; and Calf, which tells the tale of a near fatal farm accident which leaves teenager Cáit with a terrible decision to make in order to do what she must to protect her family.